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Art & Life with Ilanit Maghen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ilanit Maghen.

Ilanit, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Israel, to two very creative parents. They were in the fashion business, and I naturally thought I’d follow in their footsteps. Well, I didn’t. My family and I moved to Los Angeles when I was 12, and in my twenties I took a turn and chose to pursue architecture, combining my love for problem solving and creativity, the balance of left brain and right brain. After nine years of practicing architecture, I noticed that my creativity felt dim. I felt stuck in a routine, in a constant loop, with not much room for my own self-expression.

So I began to work in the office less and decided to explore more. Luckily at the same time, I had met an incredible group of friends who were all pursuing their creative dreams. Together we went to Burning Man, where I experienced creativity and on a whole new level. Inspiration was everywhere. Self-expression was celebrated, encouraged, and embraced. This desert city gave me permission to be curious and question my path.

When I got back, I knew I was different. I knew there were parts of me that were dormant and work was needed to awaken them. I was fortunate to have had so many tools at my disposal… the amazing group of women in my life that held space for us to go through these uncertain times together, the community of creatives I met through Burning Man showing me that the silliest idea is valid and should be pursued, and therapy which has helped me unlock patterns and feelings I was avoiding.

I did some sketching while in Architecture school, most of the built environment – buildings and spaces. But I never really sketched or painted from intuition. That all changed quickly as I began to freely sketch little by little, then paint a small watercolor painting, then moved on to the canvas. I could surely say now that painting has become a way to express the parts of myself that could not be put into words. Each painting feels as if a layer of my onion skin has been peeled, ready to reach deeper and deeper into the core.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
With the time I had outside of the office, I began to sketch and slowly started to paint small watercolors in my sketchbook. What I later came to understand was that I was creating images that described my internal state, my feelings.

During this time of creative awakening, I joined a women’s group created by my dear female friends and began therapy. I started exploring the parts of myself that have been dormant without me even noticing. Within a few months, I started painting on canvas, daring to go bigger with each painting. Painting had become a need to express that which I could not put into words: a painting about the burden of the Mother, one of the cracks in me which I am learning to love, and one about exploring my shadow side. All were parts of myself I was encountering throughout my growth journey. Most were painful parts that are not usually spoken of.

What I’d like to convey through my art is that it is ok to embrace the painful parts of ourselves as well. In fact, it is necessary. Those parts ignite the fire in us to survive, to create, to imagine. What touches me the most is hearing the impact one of my painting had on another human. How they felt seen, understood, and at times how they felt their own hypocrisy. Those are the buttons I want to push through my art. The ones that make us question our ways of being, inspiring us to develop more compassion towards ourselves and the rest of our human (and living) family.

What would you recommend to an artist new to the city, or to art, in terms of meeting and connecting with other artists and creatives?
There are many social events advertised on Facebook, inviting artists to paint together or exhibit their work along with others. I think those are great opportunities that allow us to meet one another and support each other’s work. I think the main thing to remember is that there’s an abundance of people who want to buy art and that there’s room for everyone to succeed.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work is all on my social media. I am in the process of setting up a website to house all of my creative work with opportunities to purchase some of my work.

I try to show my art wherever I can. I love seeing people having a conversation about pieces that moved them. It’s like putting parts of my soul on the wall.

I would love it if people share my images and share what it provokes for them, inviting others to have conversations about their own feelings.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: msilanit
  • Facebook: ilanit maghen

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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